Waringstown captain Lee Nelson says his club’s Irish Cup final success was down to the positive approach the team have adopted this season.
The villagers piled up 276 for seven batting first against Merrion, despite being reduced to a perilous 51 for three in the early stages.
“The way we wanted to bat all year was to be positive, and to show positive intent in every single thing that we do. We were 50 odd for three, our backs against the wall, and Greg (Thompson) runs down the pitch and hits the bowler back over his head,” he said. “It feeds through everyone, it says we are not going to back down. I knew it would pay off. The odd day it will not pay off, the odd day we will come a cropper, like the day at Civil Service. But if it’s just one or two days a season, I think our plan has worked.”
Nelson had special words of praise for coach Simon Johnston.
“There’s one guy in all of this who has gone unnoticed, and that’s Simon Johnston,” Nelson said. “The difference that he has made, almost turning the club upside down from two or three years ago.
“The work he has done in the field, very few chances go down now, and the way we practice, everything is done with intent. He has been phenomenal, he has to take a lot of credit for our success.”
The captain paid a tribute to JP de Villiers, the South African taking 4-24 and hitting 31 quick runs in just his second appearance for the club.
“I couldn’t have asked more, if I asked him to jump off the roof for me he’d jump off the roof. He busted his gut for me out there today. He’s a class player.” he added.
Thompson, the vice-captain, saluted the “bottle and character” of the players.
He said: “This is the character that wins cups, and wins leagues, it is the character and the bottle we have shown throughout the whole season. I’m sure I speak on behalf of Nelly and the whole club that we’re so proud of the boys.”
Thompson added: “This team is special and this is a special victory today at our home venue. To win the league and Irish Cup on the same day is special. That is what we worked so hard throughout the year for, whether it’s indoor nets, or Tuesday or Thursday nights, coming down an hour early, or leaving an hour late. Every one of the guys in the 13 today, and special mention to Ruhan (Pretorius) who isn’t here today, JP certainly filled his boots and did a great job.”